Female athletes to celebrate day set aside to honor them Events set for all states, but focus is in Washington

January 31, 1996|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Nancy Hogshead never appreciated sports growing up. That is, until she met swimmer Donna de Varona, an Olympic gold medalist and a founding member of the Women's Sports Foundation.

Speaking to the 1984 Olympic swim team of which Hogshead was a member, de Verona explained how Title IX and other legislation promoting gender equity in sports were in jeopardy.

"I just stared in amazement," said Hogshead, who won three gold medals and one silver in the 1984 Olympics. "I thought I got an athletic scholarship because I was good. I realized then how much I owed to others."

That's why Hogshead has supported the National Girls & Women in Sports Day, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary tomorrow. Events will be held in every state, but the focus will be in Washington.

There will be a two-mile walk beginning at 7:30 a.m. along the Mall from Fourth Street to the Washington Monument and back. After the walk, 21 participants and guests, including Pam Shriver, Billie Jean King and ESPN commentator Robin Roberts, will visit members of Congress.

"I remember when it used to be just a handful of athletes traipsing through Washington," said Hogshead, who has participated in the event every year and served as the president of the Women's Sports Foundation from 1994 to '96. "We represent all the little girls who don't make the front of the sports pages."

The group then will hold a Congressional Awards luncheon, at which de Varona will be presented with the Women's Sports Foundation Flo Hyman Award.

Other events include:

* In Baltimore, the YMCA of Greater Baltimore tomorrow will be host to a free noon-hour aerobics class for downtown working women at the YMCA Auditorium on 128 W. Franklin St.

* In Chestertown, Washington College will hold a parent-daughter clinic in basketball, softball, volleyball, swimming, crew, field hockey and lacrosse for girls ages 5 to 16 on Sunday from 2-5 p.m.

* In College Park tonight, the Maryland women's basketball team is promoting its game against Wake Forest as "Take a Girl to the Game Night" at 7:30.

* In Frostburg on Saturday, Frostburg State will honor the area's top senior high school female student-athletes during halftime of the men's game.

* In Williamsport, the Women's Sports Day Committee will sponsor an awards day banquet Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Williamsport Fire Hall. Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend will be the keynote speaker.

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